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Weather and Climate in Los Angeles: What to Expect

Updated on October 7, 2018
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

The Greater Los Angeles Area is Not Always Warm in the Literal Sense

When you mention the word Los Angeles the things that most people associate Los Angeles with are Hollywood, the music industry and its many beaches. And many people have the idea that Los Angeles and the whole metropolitan area are mild, warm and sunny. While Los Angeles is known for its beaches along with its warm and sunny dry weather, Los Angeles is not always “warm”. It can get chilly in the evening. While Los Angeles is certainly milder in the climate and weather category compared to cities such as Boston, Cleveland, New York, Minneapolis and St. Louis, the truth is that for much of the year, temperatures are considered to be warm. These figures do not include the coastal areas because the coastal areas generally are between 60 to 75 degrees. Every once in a while, these areas will be hot but that is rare. Weather seems to be a topic that people like to moan and complain about. But since you can’t change the weather, there’s no point to complain about it right?

I am going to give my readers a perspective on the good and bad points of the climate in the Los Angeles area and this is only my opinion on the subject. I will try to be as fair as I can.

A View of the City of Los Angeles (LA)


One Major Reason That People Move To Los Angeles: the Weather

I have been living in the Los Angeles area for a long time and I will say that I was very critical of the weather here. But I will also say that when this piece was first being composed, we had temperatures in the low 70’s at the time. Those of us living in the United States are used to using Fahrenheit to calculate and record the temperatures as opposed to Celsius. Many people do not like to deal with rain, snow and cold weather. I can certainly understand that. I am writing this because I want to take the time to appreciate the sunny days that I do have here. But I will also say that I do not recommend anyone to move here only for the climate. You have to consider other factors. But there are people that move to Los Angeles to experience more sunny weather. This is because they were in a part of the world that had lots of rain and cloudy skies. Those conditions can give certain people SAD or seasonal affective disorder.

A Map of Los Angeles and the Surrounding Cities

Weather of Los Angeles Area Including Pros and Cons

Even in the month of January, it is not unusual to see temperatures of 80 degrees or higher. April in Los Angeles can be cool with weather in the 60's or it can be warm to hot with temperatures in the 80's and 90's. Beginning in September, Los Angeles experiences what are known as the Santa Ana winds. These winds blow around bringing with them hot and dry weather with humidity in the single digits. These conditions can lead to brush fires and they can aggravate people’s allergies. These windy conditions can also make your skin crack and you may get a nosebleed because the humidity that time of year is so low. When I was a teenager, I used to love the high amount of sunny weather that we have here. But as the years have passed, I have wanted to see more rainfall. But Los Angeles is very dry. I do like to see sunshine but not every single day.

Summer in Los Angeles goes from about April to late November. During this time period, the air temperatures are usually not lower than the low 80s. Although Los Angeles can also experience warm to hot weather as early as March. June in Los Angeles is warm with temperatures in the 80's with the mornings being cloudy. These cloudy conditions disappear in the afternoon and the sun comes out. This cloudiness is known as June Gloom. The month of May also can be pleasant but it can also experience swings in temperature. There can also be weather events that would be considered abnormal or unseasonably hot by weather forecasters. On September 27, 2010, Downtown Los Angeles reached a high of 113 degrees Fahrenheit while in Glendale, California it was 109 degrees that day.

Los Angeles is not like San Francisco. It is a totally different city especially in terms of its weather. The greater Los Angeles metro area is classified as a Mediterranean climate with some subtropical influences. However, there is a misconception that it is like Miami which it is not. If you are looking for a city that has mild weather Santa Barbara and San Diego are better options. I will take these 70 degree days in December gladly. But I also do like cold weather. It is really refreshing to walk outside the house and to have that cool air touch your face. I am just trying to look at the positive aspects of the climate here. Some of these positive aspects are that you do not have to think about driving your car in snowy conditions, slipping on ice or waiting for a bus when there is a foot of snow outside. But as I said, I do like the cold weather without high winds.

A photo of Beverly Hills

The Type of Person That Would Enjoy The Weather And Climate of Los Angeles

If you are looking for a city that has lots of sunshine with low humidity, little rain and no snow then Los Angeles is a good match for you. It depends on what you want from life and what kind of weather that you prefer. Everyone is different. Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate with two seasons. These seasons are the rainy season which lasts from late November through early April and then there is the long dry season which lasts from May until about early November. For lovers of sunshine, Los Angeles is a great place. Other places that get high sunshine in the United States are Arizona and Florida. While Los Angeles does have mild weather in comparison to many places, it can get cold at night in the winter and spring months. It is not a bad climate but I wouldn’t say that it is the best. Overall, Los Angeles as a large city does have its benefits and the weather certainly does. Would this writer live in the greater Los Angeles area just for its weather and climate? Certainly not and that would not be one of the major reasons I would stay and it is not the main reason why I still stay here. However, sunny Southern California has been romanticized in TV series and movies as being this sort of paradise which it is not. Hopefully, this written piece has informed the world of what the weather and climate of Los Angeles is like but it is just the perspective of one person. As usual, don’t just move to somewhere new only because of the area’s weather and climate.

Update About the Weather and Climate in the Los Angeles Area

Note: some viewpoints of this article may have changed in 2018. Some of you may wonder whether the weather and climate of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas is the “best” in the United States. It certainly is seen that way by many millions of people and it does have better weather than New York City or the Midwest United States. That stated, as was mentioned earlier, it is not wise to move to a city only because of its weather. Los Angeles may have some of the best weather in the United States but there are other factors to consider as well.


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